Poems sometimes come to me all in one gulp. I write them down and there they are. But more often I just get bits and pieces over time. I jot ideas down in my handmade notebook, cross-out, add in and so forth.
A recent idea started to come together for me in this way:
Inspiration: A greeting card depicting Henry Beston's outermost house in Eastham, Cape Cod, washed away in 1978.
Photo of Henry Beston's cottage by Debora Rosen used with permission. 1965 "Low Tide" email@example.com
Rereading an older poem of mine in which I mention the book The Outermost House by Henry Beston.
Looking out my window at the cabin across the field. "My own" outermost house. (see header photo)
Jotting words and lines in my notebook:
in the field
my own/an upcountry outermost house
no ocean but a man-made pond
roof crusted/limned? with snow
windows stare in surprise/like mirrors
awaiting residents/people/visitors who never arrive
the door awaits the couple who never arrive
inside the floor is uneven/dirt/pitted and........
no ladder to the loft
lost ladder to the loft
a stack of books rots on barn-board bookcase/shelves
snow instead of sand
pond rather than ocean
birch rather than beach grass
frogs rather than whales/seals
different yet both hold a sense of mystery, anticipation, solitude
facing the elements
one washed away in a Nor'easter
one still stands sentinel, slowly disintegrates from lack of care
Well, I don't have the finished poem yet. And maybe revealing this process will kill it, I don't know. But if it comes out I'll post it.
More information about Henry Beston Here
Photos of the outermost house Here